Memoirs

  • Memoirs

    Margaret Jean Burkhart Jordan

    An Amazing Woman in an Ordinary Way Memoir by Michael Usey April 21, 2009 As you probably know The Book of Proverbs is a collection of sayings and wisdom poems that found its present form after the return of the exiles from Babylon. However, many verses surely came from the period of the monarchy in Judea before its fall. The poem of an ideal wife (31:10-31) comprises the last major section of Proverbs. The poem described the perfect wife as prudent, industrious, and wise. Such a woman would make a prosperous businessperson by today’s standards. But, unlike today, the ideal wife in Proverbs did all this in the shadow of…

  • Memoirs

    Gerry Fox Haymes

    Better to Wear Out Than to Rust: Gerry Fox Haymes Memoir by Michael Usey February 6, 2009 I have been pastor at College Park in Greensboro for 15 years, and for all that time, Gerry and Joe have visited about once a quarter at our church, sitting with their favorite (okay, only) daughter Peggy. 15 years, four times a year, about 60 times she’s worshipped with us, Joe with his kind laugh-lined face and Gerry with her marvelous smile and her great love for singing. When she sang of course I noticed Gerry, because very few people sing with so much joy and abandon out in the congregation. Little did…

  • Memoirs

    Barry Shoemaker

    Where is the Glamour Now? Memoir by Michael Usey December 20, 2008 A couple of weeks ago in a sermon right before Thanksgiving, I talked about the first funeral I did in 1985 in Texas. Before the service, one of my colleagues gave me some good advice, great advice then, now shown to be very wise now. He said, just remember three things, you are there to give thanks for his life, to tell him goodbye, and to commend him to God. We are here to give thanks for his life, I thought, how strange. The boy we were burying was dead at 17 and we are here to give thanks…

  • Memoirs

    Lee Stocks, Jr.

    Mr. Rozier Lee Stocks Jr., 75, of High Point, died Sunday, September 14, 2008, at Hospice of High Point. Mr. Stocks was born in Laurinburg, NC, October 29, 1933, to Rozier and Annie Mae Stocks, both preceded him in death. During his high school career Lee was named all-state in football, basketball, and baseball. This began his lifelong love of sports. While on summer staff at Ridgecrest Baptist Encampment he met and later married Doris Childers from Oklahoma. They were married for 53 years. After graduation from Wake Forest University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Lee and Doris served in several churches in the Fayetteville area. In 1965 they moved…

  • Memoirs

    Sheila Allred Ingold

    A Woman of Her Times, For All Time Memoir By Bill Ingold May 25, 2006 What can I say about Momma that you don’t already know? How do I sum up her life, capturing over seven decades of complex and varied experiences? How can I neatly define a woman who had so many varied and fascinating relationships with those around her? As I fought with this problem over the last few nights, I seemed at a loss of how to find a common thread that defined the essence of Momma’s existence. Finally, I realized that there was no single characteristic that captured who Momma was. Instead, there exists a core…

  • Memoirs

    Andrew David Russoli

    An Unfinished Life: Andrew David Russoli  Memoir by Michael Usey November 2, 2005 When my sons were young, they called him “Androot,” as in, “Are we going to Androot’s house for Thanksgiving?” We were often guests at the Russoli’s home, as many of you have been, and my boys loved to be in the presence of Andrew. He was all boy, and had a great collection of toys guns and knives, which he generously let my boys use, as well as a collection of disturbing action figures and skulled-headed monsters. These were treasures to any boy under 12—in fact my sons inherited some of these action figures when Andrew moved…

  • Memoirs

    Fred William Scott

    A Long Obedience in the Same Direction Memoir by Michael Usey April 22, 2003 When Fred was a boy on the farm in Yadkin County, he and his brothers got into their share of trouble. He had 3 brothers that lived past infancy: Ray, M.F. [a.k.a. Melvin Fynn], and Charles. One night when the boys were in bed, they had done something to incur their father’s wrath and earn a whipping. They thought they’d get the better of the old man: by holding the sheets ultra tight, the boys reasoned that the taunt sheet would bear the brunt of the blow. They were right: their father spanked them, but it…

  • Memoirs

    Thu Thi Nguyet Doan

    Teach Us to Number Our Days Memoir by Michael Usey April 17, 2003 The purpose of a Christian funeral is to bear witness to the resurrection and to celebrate the way in which a person’s life was a window to God. In my congregation, this is accomplished not by a sermon, which focuses on a passage of scripture, nor by a eulogy, which concentrates on a person’s life, but rather with a memoir, which centers on the way we experienced God’s love through a person’s life. A memoir is a blending of both sermon and eulogy into a celebration of the manner in which God shone through this person’s life. Psalm…

  • Memoirs

    Ann Elizabeth Pillow

    A Shiny Life Memoir by Michael Usey September 21, 2002 Jesus said, let your life be shiny. He said, Let your life so shine before others that they will see your good works and give thanks to God in bright heaven. This is a noble calling, a high and holy vocation to which all Christians aspire. But this is also a tall order, being shiny. The world can be a pretty dark place, and being bright and luminous, reflecting the light of God’s love, can be difficult, even risky. We are all here because of Ann Pillow’s premature and unexpected death. Her sudden death has left us reeling and grief-stricken,…

  • Memoirs

    Bennie Tucker Hendrickson

    Daily Bread Memoir by Michael Usey September 13, 2002 When he taught his disciples to pray, Jesus had them pray for bread. “Give us this day our daily bread,” he said, reminding them that all good gifts like food and life come from a gracious God. Jesus also knew that around a table very good things could happen: fellowship, connection, reconciliation, laughter, love. It is not accident that Jesus chose two common events-eating at table and bathing in water-to be the central images of communion and baptism to remind his followers of him. Food, Jesus knew, connected people to each other, and God, and their lives. Good food can nurture…

  • Memoirs

    William Carson Parnell

    A Life Restored Memoir by Michael Usey October 23, 2001 The last lines in Shakespeare’s play King Lear are spoken by Edgar, son of Gloucester.  He and the Earl of Kent are surrounded by tragedy when Edgar ends the play with these lines: The weight of this sad time we must obey, Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. The oldest hath borne most; we that are young Shall never see so much, nor live so long.[1] These lines are especially true after thousands died in the rumble of the World Trade Center and Pentagon, in the midst of anthrax, and now a ground war in Afghanistan. …

  • Memoirs

    Jack Edwards

    Memoir by Michael Usey January 21, 2001 The priest Zachariah is one of my favorite characters in the Bible.  After all, I named one of my sons after him.  He is old when we first meet him in Luke’s story of Jesus, and he is without children.  When an angel appears to him and tells him that he and his wife Elizabeth will have a son in their old age, old Zachariah doesn’t believe a word of it.  The angel strikes him mute and deaf, probably to give Zack some time to think about it.  He does, and when his son is born, he names him John, the last and…

  • Memoirs

    Arlee Canter White

    Memoir by Michael Usey April 25, 2000 In his most scathing letter, Paul reams out the church in Galatia for lots of behavior and attitudes that he knows is beneath them.  He goes on about these bad behaviors at some length, but, for just a moment at the end of the letter, he takes the high road and points out to them: The fruit of the [God’s] spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  There is no law against such things.  [Gal 5.22-23] What he was trying to say to his charges was that, if you try to live life with God’s wild spirit, then…

  • Memoirs

    Sylvia Leigh Previtte

    Swimming in an Ocean of Love Memoir by Michael Usey March 25, 2000 Lots of stories about Sylvia involve love and water.  When she was six, she and her mother, Mildred, went to the store.  Her father, Dan, thought he would mow the lawn while they were gone, but he could not get his lawn mower to start.  Pretty soon he had the lawnmower in pieces, and had a dozen parts spread out next to him.  (This is not a unique scene to those of you who know him: Dan in the midst of a disassembled engine.)  As he worked he asked himself, “Why is everything wet?  Even the carburetor…

  • Memoirs

    Thelma Holler

    Memoir by Michael Usey February 15, 2000 Psalm 23, John 14, Revelation 21: It’s no surprise, really, that Harold chose these passages among the many that were Thelma’s favorites.  They are classic texts to reflect on during the death of a loved one, for they speak to God being with us past, present, and future.  And if God is with through all of time, what can overcome us?  What should we fear?  Nothing and no one, for God’s love is stronger than death and truer than life. I love to hear Psalm 23 at services that are a witness to the resurrection.  Think about it: how many times have you…